Hard to believe, but it’s been a year plus since I launched the brandcentric blog. Many lessons learned about the art and science of blogging (mostly positive), and still a lot more to discover.
On the content front, this has been a fantastic opportunity to refine my focus in this bold, new era of CPG marketing. A few of the more meaningful themes from the past year include:
- The expanding share-of-wallet that digital media has claimed from traditional media vehicles. CPG was slow to adopt, but quick to catch up to (and potentially surpass) other industries.
- The coming-of-age of social media and marketing for CPG brands. Word-of-mouth makes a lot of sense for considered purchases, even in the world of fast-moving consumer goods.
- Leveraging applied math and modeling techniques to achieve superior merchandising strategies. The data is available, the science is mature and business-user applications are available through a browser.
- The relentless pursuit of developing, nurturing and monetizing direct-to-consumer relationships. Alice.com was unexpected, but is exciting to watch.
As I look forward to 2010, a few early focus areas bubble to the top:
- Shopper centricity. This will be huge across several fronts, including in-store marketing, trade planning, and broader merchandising strategic planning. Retailers are ready to unleash the data and shopper segmentation, and manufacturers need to step up to the plate. Collaborative planning has made a comeback.
- Pricing. Commodity and ingredient cost volatility is expected to rear its ugly head once again. The focus on promoted shelf price is more important than ever, especially when considering issues like gap to private label and the incredibly elusive consumer. Expect manufacturers to funnel more marketing dollars to price as a strategic marketing lever.
- Digital integration. Will this be the year that digital media and marketing shifts from a “center of excellence” service to a brand-driven strategic capability? For some brands not quite yet, but for others absolutely.
There are many more themes that are percolating. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind as you look forward to the coming year.